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PLATF9RM Culture: Why Beer O’Clock Was The Ultimate PLATF9RM Collaboration

We’ve been talking an awful lot about our PLATF9RM beer recently. In case you hadn’t heard– it’s called Beer O’Clock and brewed by the very good boys at Bison Beer.

As well as the fact that each can is 330ml of crisp, hoppy loveliness, this beer makes us happy because it's the ultimate PLATF9RM member collaboration: a five-pronged partnership between us, Bison Beer, Lucy Sherston (who drew the illustration), Myles Lucas (typesetting and design) and David Hillier (copy). We think it represents everything we’re about. And it’s beer! Two giant wins.

To give an insight into how we made this collab happen – and how brilliance comes through creative minds working together – we asked everyone involved to give us a brief rundown of their role in the project.


Emilie Lashmar – PLATF9RM Creative Director


Bison Beer have been one of our longest members at Hove Town Hall and everyone loves drinking their beers on Fridays and at the Socials. I’ve wanted to collaborate with them for ages but, as is often the way, it took a while to come to fruition.

I’ve been following Lucy’s work for so long and have always thought she’s super-talented. Supporting brilliant local artists and bringing them into the PLATF9RM family is one of my absolute favourite bits of my job! She’s painted murals in most of our meeting rooms and I now can’t imagine those rooms looking any differently. I’m happy to say the same for Beer O’Clock.

I asked Myles and David to be involved because we’ve worked together before. This project is quite unique and it was vital we used people who understood PLATF9RM and what we’re about; they definitely did that! (It probably helps they both like beer more than me! Shh, don’t tell the Bison boys.) Overall, I think everything worked out deliciously...


Jack Cregan – Bison Beer – Co-Founder


When PLATF9RM said they wanted to create a beer together we knew it was going to be fun. We’ve been hanging out (occasionally working) at PLATF9RM for a while now, and always looked forward to beer o’clock on Fridays. We’ve made sure the beers are good and cold by installing fridges (shout out to the sods that keep unplugging Tower Point’s to turn on the toaster) and were excited to watch the creative process unfold. The final product tastes great (if we do say so ourselves) and the label captures what working here is all about: colourful, fun, by the seaside and surrounded by dogs!

  As if this collaboration couldn’t get anymore ultimate - these photos are by the wonderful    Emma Croman

As if this collaboration couldn’t get anymore ultimate - these photos are by the wonderful Emma Croman

Lucy Sherston – Artist & Illustrator


I was SO excited when I received this brief because I was able to apply my illustrations to a tangible product and collaborate with some of Brighton's finest! The brief was fairly simple: to create an image that clearly represented Brighton whilst celebrating the fun and social element of PLATF9RM . After sending a few ideas over we decided our biker gal cycling along the seafront was the way to go, with a colour palette that was bright and summery.

I'm really grateful to PLATF9RM . They have been so supportive of my work over the past few years and I think it's wonderful to have an organisation that champions local artists.

[We didn’t ask Lucy to write that last line, honest.]


David Hillier – Writer & Journalist


The original copy I filed for the back of the can was quite different. If memory serves it had a gag about how beer was the secret glue – as opposed to actual glue, arf – that kept the PLATF9RM machine running. It didn’t make the cut.

There was some to-ing and fro-ing with Myles because we realised there was too much text and it didn’t look right on the can. Eventually I kept it short, succinct and finished with a tiny flourish: “We called it Beer O’Clock ‘cos that’s our favourite time!” Easy.

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Myles Lucas – Graphic Designer


Having previously designed a few things for Platf9rm, I was asked to design the beer can using Lucy Sherston’s great illustration.

I had to make the typography bold and interesting. It couldn’t detract from the illustration and had ensure all the text was legible over all the different colours. I think we managed it! Knowing that I did the typography and was part of this project makes that beer taste even better…


INF9RMER #7

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The INF9RMER Newsletter is matt-iculously crafted, lovingly nurtured, marinated in enthusiasm and cooked at 200℃ for 15 minutes, by PLATF9RM's Membership Assistant Matt. If you have any exciting upcoming projects within your company, would like to let everyone know how your business is progressing in some way, or have a future event coming up - then feel free to email Matt, drop him a message on Slack or come find him in person for a quick chat.


Cocoa Loco, The Silent Disco and a Brighton PR Pro


With Halloween around the corner, we this month welcome Amy Gibson to the INF9RMER as she promotes Pier 2 Pier's Beach Hallow-clean. With chocolate surprises and PR wins, PLATF9RM are once again showing their strengths.


Brighton's been finding it's feet as local designers prepare to take to the street as part of Design Brighton's 2019 October festival, brought to us by Frazer Stokes. Sophie Wilson of Tuesday Media shouted from the rooftops about their phenomenal achievement, a great win for a startup PR agency only 9 months old.

Our Social Media prayers were answered with the introduction of ContentCal into this month's edition, with Noel Agyei letting everyone know about their exciting Partnership Program. Ghouls and gals at the ready, Amy Gibson is offering out the Silent Disco headphones once again for October's Halloween Beach Clean!

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With Cocoa tasty enough to send anyone Loco, Nigel Lambe treated us all to the knowledge that not only are his decadent treats available online, but can also be found down at Infinity Foods! The gang over at Escape The City have been reassuring people that it may not ever be the perfect time for a change of career; but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the wrong move - and they are here to help.

Reaching all Nine of your Lives, Cat Duval of Nine Lives Yoga has downward doggy dipped some information about her unique yoga experiences into this month's INF9RMER - so get twisting those hips! PALA Eyewear have released their first recycled acetate frame, and you all know how stunning John Pritchard's glasses can be. Finally we finished off with a new recruit to Hove's office inhabitants, Redtangle - welcome Wesley to the PLATF9RM Community!


Thank you to everyone who put in the time to offer news for this month's INF9RMER, if you have something you would like to include for September then contact Membership Assistant Matt.

"The Internet Is In Our Blood.” A Guide To Generation Z, by 18-year-old CEO Brandon Relph

By 2019 Generation Z will comprise 32% of the world’s population. This data, published by Bloomberg, classified a Gen Z member as anyone born after 2000. If you’re a business that wants to engage those 18 and under, you’d better act fast if you don’t want to seem as medieval as a MiniDisc.

For those hoping to unpick the minds of Gen Z, there’s no better person than the Eastbourne-based Brandon Relph. Brandon is 18 and CEO of his company Internet Ready, who consult on and devise Generation Z-focused internet marketing strategies. He became the world’s youngest CEO – a title he no longer holds – at just 13-years-old after launching the Minecraft-based business goCreative.

Five years later he spends most of his days helping Fortune 100 companies drag their feet out of the past. Added to that, he’s an international speaker and was once described as “awesome” by Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak. Speaking to Brandon, perhaps surprisingly, will make you feel both old and scornful of the painfully childish whims of your own 18-year-old self. We caught up with him to discover everything you need to know about Generation Z.

 

Hey Brandon. What’s the main difference between millennials and Generation Z?

Millennials changed the world but Gen Z are changing it again. The main thing is that we grew up with the internet. It’s in our blood. It changed how we see the world.

 

Has growing up behind a computer affected your attitude to work?

It’s hard to say but we definitely prefer to work independently. We’re less interested in collaborating. I think we like our own space because we’re used to having it. We can connect on the internet rather than sitting in the same room!

 

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We read a lot about Gen Z being more mindful than those before. How does that play out?

We’re much more careful with money and thoughtful about how much things cost. We are a lot more savvy around brands and where we put our money. Millennials were quite oblivious to when they’re being marketed to but we’re very, very aware. When we become adults we’ll have the highest buying power of any generation, so we’ll have all the money but we’ll spend it wisely.

What about careers?

We want accelerated careers. We want to just get on with our thing. We don’t want to go in at low-level jobs.

How do you channel that though? Everyone has to start somewhere.

The world is still working out how to adapt but I think there’ll be a lot of smaller firms. A lot of individuals and freelancers to make a web of talent rather than just having pure bureaucratic companies. 

How important will the culture of an company or employer be?

We’ll want something that constantly stimulates our minds. Rather than just going in and doing one job we’ll want to go in, have three different jobs and just get on with it. 

How important is “constant stimulation” in marketing?

We need to have our attention grabbed quickly and kept consistently. Marketing needs to be fast marketing rather than slow. You need to create a different mindset around the brand. Rather than just one advert you need multiple adverts and to build a brand, rather than just sell a single product.

Who is good at this?

The bigger companies are being quite successful because they’re building brands first and products after. Take Apple: they are really good at sustainability and that means a lot to us.

Who are Gen Z icons?

Increasingly I think it’s Influencers. We’ve moved away from mainstream celebrities to people that we can connect and relate with: you can see Influencers more as friends than just people on the TV. Through vlogging and other ways you can understand what they represent. They’ll do meet-ups. It’s all about connection and it’s why influencer marketing is so effective. Influencers also value their audience as people: they could sell something dodgy and perhaps get away with it, but it would harm them brand and con people they have a relationship with. They’re very mindful of this.

Who’s a big Influencer we should know?

There’s a Youtuber called Shane Dawson. He’s had a lot of success and people see him as a stable and interesting guy. 

Are there any bad brands for Gen Z?

Our generation don’t use Facebook much. Personally I don’t use Facebook. It’s a product for older people. It’s slow, it’s boring. Also, they collect loads of data. Less is more when it comes to data. We hugely value our privacy.  Sometimes I have firms say they want to tun a Facebook campaign aimed at Gen Z and I tell them not to bother!

Finally. Is all progress good progress good for Generation Z? Is there no sense of holding onto traditions or do we just speed up the world and make it as effective as possible?

I think we’ve come into a world where we are taught to fast and and effective. We’re the most connected generation ever because we have the internet and lots of our relationships are built over the internet. We’re also very conscious of everybody. We think the greater good is most important and we're less scared of monopolies. You know, people worry about Amazon having a monopoly. We care about companies that care for people.

Us too. Thanks Brandon!

Pop along to our event ‘PLATF9RM Presents: What Is The Future Of Work For Generation Z’, to hear more on what Brandon has to say, along with Daisy Cresswell and Lola Ray from Brighton5 and Declan Cassidy from Maker Club.

Guestblog: Lessons I Learned At Happy Startup School’s Summercamp

We love hosting Happy Startups’ monthly Ideas Cafe at PLATF9RM. They are progressive business dudes with outrageously creative minds and every year they host Summercamp. It’s their own festival and this year PLATF9RM Member Lana Burgess went along. We asked her to write a blog about her experience and it sounded like quite a ride!


Summercamp is the annual gathering of the The Happy Startup School community. It offers the opportunity to unplug, get inspired by a diverse range of speakers, and connect with other founders, freelancers, and creatives in a natural setting. This year was my first time going. I can safely say that it was nothing like I expected. But everything that I needed.

When I reflected on what to include in this blog post, I found that my most memorable realisations were around wellbeing rather than business. This, perhaps shouldn’t have been a surprise as it was a recurring theme throughout the weekend.


With that in mind, here’s five lessons I learned about wellbeing this weekend that have truly transformed my perspective.

The Joy of Missing Out


There was so much going on at Summercamp that falling foul of FOMO (fear of missing out) was entirely possible. Each morning was filled with talks offering a unique take on entrepreneurship. In the afternoons, we could choose from a plethora of workshops.

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Some workshops were pre-arranged and others emerged through an innovative process called “open space”. Topics covered included the psychological role of awe, entrepreneurship as a spiritual journey and what causes burnout, to name but a few.

After the workshops, we could try different wellbeing activities. My favourite was the wild sauna spa. Jumping into the bracing, emerald waters of Frickley Lake after getting my sweat on was addictively exhilarating.

With so many valuable experiences to choose from, FOMO could well have wreaked havoc on our enjoyment. Fortunately, Marcus Pibworth from the Ministry of Change offered up a way to reframe this problem: JOMO (the joy of missing out).

For me, this simple reframing was immensely freeing. It helped me quiet the voice that often asks if there is somewhere else I should be. This reduced my anxiety and allowed me to be fully present to enjoy every moment. A good life lesson, indeed.


How to Access Empathy


My second lesson came from the workshop that Christine Raine and her partner Seb Castro ran on emotional mapping. This is the idea that we can communicate better by taking a moment to observe — and name — the emotion we are feeling. We are feeling this emotion because a specific need we have is unmet. If we can identify this unmet need, we can discover what we need to move forward.

We can apply this process to the person we are speaking with, too. Rather than simply reacting to their words, we can take a moment to feel their emotional energy. We should not tell them what they are feeling, but we could ask them. Asking opens space for empathy. It allows the person we’re speaking with to feel heard. Activating empathy can improve the communication, deepening business and personal relationships alike.

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The Beauty of Self-doubt



We spend a lot of our time as entrepreneurs trying to iron out undesirable qualities. To banish imposter syndrome. To quash procrastination. To erase self-doubt. But perhaps we shouldn’t. Because it’s our vulnerabilities that allow us to connect. That keep us open. That allow us to learn.

Without vulnerability, our default position can become that of the teacher. And the teacher alone. Sometimes this can prevent us from learning. Which seems like a terrible shame. Because, arguably, the best lessons are ones which flow in both directions.


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What It Means to Be Present


We’ve all heard of mindfulness. But how many of us have ever really, deeply, felt what mindfulness means?

I had a powerfully mindful experience with Gino Yu, from the University of Hong Kong. This is a man who can maintain eye contact like no one I’ve ever met before. When someone intensely holds your gaze for an extended period of time, it isn’t always comfortable. But it brings you into the present moment like nothing else.

When you’re in the moment, you experience the world physically, rather than through thought. Time seems to stop and anxieties fade. Being in your body, not your mind, feels radically different. Like coming home.


How to Move On

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Birthing a business can be an intense, fulfilling, and meaningful process. But what happens if reach the point where your creation no longer serves you?

The stories I heard at Summercamp revealed that there is no single answer to this question. How you decide to transition is deeply personal. But recognising when a transition needs to happen is essential. Ignoring the nagging voice that’s telling you you’ve outgrown your business can lead to disconnect. We stop being true to our authentic selves if we cling on to something that we need to give away. There’s no shame in admitting that it’s time to move on.


Takeaway


I arrived at Summercamp wanting to focus on my next step as a freelance writer. The insight I gained was much more personal. I connected with people on a deeper level than day-to-day interactions tend to allow. I forgot about my business and reconnected with nature. I felt the true value of community. A shared energy. Shared vulnerabilities. Shared love.

My thinking around wellbeing has taken a massive leap forward. And writing about my learnings has reminded me that words are not just something I sell. Writing is a tool that I can use to process my mental health journey. And to share it with others — when I’m ready.

Going to Summercamp may not give you everything you think you want. But, somehow, the process seems to give you what you need. I’m pretty sure someone once wrote a song about that! Anyway, go next year and I have a feeling that you’ll understand what I mean.

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